Over at The Catholic Gentleman, Mr. Guzman has a post on 7 Ways To Have A Good Lent. Check it out, cause it is solid awesomeness. Also on that page is a link for a worksheet, which can help you make … Continue reading
First thing: as a homeschooler whose family is incredibly busy, I don’t have too many friends. I mean, I could probably count on one hand the number of good, Catholic friends that I have. The past few days, I started thinking that my lack of good friends could cause problems. The thoughts running through my stupid, puny head were something along the lines of, “Christina, if you don’t get more friends who you can share your problems, trials, troubles, worries, and anxieties with, you will end up depressed in a little box, crying your eyes out. Christina, are you even paying attention?!? Helloooo?!?!”
So it was a rather one-sided conversation with myself. What did I do next? Well, first I told myself to shut up and behave. Then, my head was quiet for a couple of days and it calmed down. Now comes the funny part (this is the part when God steps in to save the day :).
This morning, I was reading Imitation of Christ, Part 3, Chapter 42 and I found this:
That Peace Does Not Depend Upon Other People
JESUS: My dear friend, if your peace depends only on a mutual love and friendship with another person, your roots will be tangled and shallow. But if you can turn to the ever-living and deep-rooted truth, you will not be grieved when a friend must leave you or when he dies.
The love of a friend should be rooted in me. No matter how good he appears to be or how much you care for him in this life, he should be loved for my sake. Without me, friendship is neither strong nor lasting, nor is it a true or pure love unless I am the bond.
All human affection and friendship is a reflection of the love that I have for you; you should not want any other kind. True friendship is a gift; it takes root in your own heart, and the more you probe its depths, the higher you ascend to God. Friendship is a grace, and it should be nurtured with humility and love. Be thankful for it, and the Holy Spirit will continue to bless you.
Be careful not to let your friendships stand in the way of your love for me. It is easy to place your friends first and God second; looking at created things, it is easy to lose sight of the Creator. In your friendships, as in all other things, always place God first, as the source and font of all that is good.
Doesn’t God have a terrific way of getting the point across? That was exactly what I needed! It shows that rather than searching for people to talk to, I can always talk to God. Plus, (as an added bonus) I don’t need to worry about a friend’s personal opinion interfering with the matter that I am struggling with, because God always knows what is best and His opinion is the best and only one to follow. So now, rather than vent all of problems to a friend, I will tell God what my problems are and I can trust that He will always find a solution.
Blessed be the Lord, for He has heard the sound of my pleading;
the Lord is my strength and my shield.
In Him my heart trusts, and I find help; then my heart exults, and with my song I give Him thanks.
I thought it might be a good idea to post this chapter from the book Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. This is from part 3, chapter 14, and it is the prayer of a humble disciple.
“You thunder your judgements over me, Lord, and all my bones quake with fear and trembling,and my soul is terribly afraid.I stand stunned and consider that the heavens are not pure in your sight. If you found corruption inthe angels and you did not spare them, what will happen to me? The stars of heaven fell, and what can I, who am but dust, think will happen to me? Those whose works seemed praiseworthy have fallen to the depths, and I see those who ate the bread of angels delighting in pig slop!”
“There is no holiness, Lord, if you withdraw your hand, no wisdom if you cease to govern, no courage if you cease to save, no chastity if you do not protect it, no watchfulness if your holy vigilance is missing. If you abandon us, we sink and perish, but if you visit us, we are raised up and live. Why, we are trembling, but through you we are strengthened; we are lukewarm, but by you we are set ablaze.”
“Oh, how humble and lowly I ought to feel about myself, and even if I seem to have goodness, I ought to think nothing about it. Oh, how deeply I ought to submit myself to your unfathomable judgements, Lord, where I find myself to be nothing but nothing, absolutely nothing. O measureless weight! O impassable sea! I peer deep within myself and I find nothing but total nothingness.”
“So where can pride hide? Where is confidence born of virtue? All empty boasting is swallowed up in the depths of your judgement over me. What am I- or any of us- in your sight? Shall the clay boast against he who formed it? How can a person whose heart is in true harmony with God become swollen with pride? If your whole hope were fixed on God, and you were to live your whole life for him alone, nothing in this world could inflate your pride or flatter your vanity. All those whose smooth tongues speak empty praise are nothing in themselves, for they will fade away with the sound of their own voices, but the truth of the lord endures forever.”
I started reading this book a while after I found it my mom’s office. It has 144 chapters, and coincedentally when I found it, there were 144 days left in the year! So I started reading a chapter each morning and meditating on that reading throughout the day. It is possibly the best book I have ever read, and I hope you like this chapter as much as I do.
God bless you all!
Update: I posted more about humility here.